Facebook is the popular social network that has become such an integral part of our lives that we have all come to wonder what life would be like without its existence. Founded on February 4th, 2004 by Mark Zuckerburg and his friends Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, the site now garners 1.24 billion active users a month.  Of course, I’m not here to give you a history lesson on these creation of Facebook; the Wikipedia page, the relatively true movie: The Social Network, the book the movie was based upon: The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, or the many articles and blogs will give you an exorbitant amount of information on the decade-old website. The purpose of this article is to better explain Facebook pages to help businesses, artists, and other users fully comprehend what they are using. There tends to be a lot of misconstruing of information as well as blatant misinformation being interpreted as the truth. Before I delve into this article, I want to state that I am not an employee of Facebook and the numbers that I provide may not be 100% accurate as they do tend to change frequently, but I shall cite all the information I do provide and give you what I believe is the truth.
History of Facebook Pages
On Tuesday, November 6, 2007 at 9:46pm, Leah Pearlman, the Product Manager of Facebook Ads, officially introduced the world to Facebook pages. At this time, it was a bit over one year that Facebook had been opened to the public completely ages 13 and older. No longer was this social network exclusive to Harvard, colleges, major companies, nor high schools, but to everyone. This led to the idea of pages for products, businesses, bands, celebrities, and other brands to appear on Facebook. Leah Pearlman stated :
Engaging with businesses and buying things are part of your everyday life. Advertising doesn’t have to be about interrupting what you’re doing, but getting the right information about the purchases you make when you want it. We believe we’ve created a system where ads are more relevant and actually enhance Facebook. You now have a way to connect with things you are passionate about. We’ve launched Facebook Pages, which are distinct, customized profiles designed for businesses, bands, celebrities and more to represent themselves on Facebook. We noticed people wanted to connect with their favorite music, restaurants, and brands; but there was no good place for these types of affiliations to exist. Now, there is a place for them and you can become a fan of whatever pages you choose in order to interact with your passions in new ways. You can post reviews for a local restaurant, buy tickets to a new movie, or be the first to get a heads up about new promotions.
It wasn’t until almost two years later that this idea was streamlined to the public by treating these pages as just another profile to interact with the public. This was announced publicly by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 12:17pm. Mark stated :
Starting today, we are announcing new profiles for public figures and organizations. Once called Pages, these new profiles will now begin looking and functioning just like user profiles. Just as you connect with friends on Facebook, you can now connect and communicate with celebrities, musicians, politicians and organizations. These folks will now be able to share status updates, videos, photos or anything else they want, in the same way your friends can already. You’ll be able to keep up with all of their activity in your News Feed. This means that you can find out that Oprah is reading a book backstage before a show, CNN posted a breaking story or U2 is working on a new song, just as you would see that your friend uploaded new photos from her trip to Europe.
This update announced by Mark also allowed users to fully control their timeline. On ouzo of the algorithm (which I will go into more detail), users can manipulate the data to lessen, completely remove, or add more of a specific person(s) or brand(s) they want to see. By allowing these features, it provides us what the modern description of a Facebook page :
Pages are for businesses, brands and organizations to share their stories and connect with people. Like Timelines, you can customize Pages by posting stories, hosting events, adding apps and more. Engage and grow your audience by posting regularly. People who like your Page and their friends can get updates in News Feed.
Facebook Pages by the Numbers
As you can see, if you have a Facebook page, you have to work hard to be 1 of those 70 pages an average user chooses to like. Obviously, this is an average and you have to take account of the outliers of these averages. There are those who don’t use Facebook which mean they don’t have any likes. There are those who don’t like many pages. There are those, like myself, that have easily over 1,000 likes. Sticking with the statistics, you must realize that of those 70 average likes, more than not these are 25 of the 70 pages as the below table is the top 25 most liked pages on Facebook (as of June 2014). 
|#||Name||Total Likes||Daily Growth||Weekly Growth|
|1||Facebook for Every Phone||447,652,538||+517,927||+3,622,892|
|13||Texas HoldEm Poker||70,395,631||+1,629||+10,542|
|16||Candy Crush Saga||68,452,232||+51,268||+364,357|
|22||Real Madrid C.F.||63,025,080||+97,933||+749,644|
From this table, you can break down what type of pages Facebook users enjoy the most. As you can see, it is full of celebrities, brands, and more. The lovely people at Social Bakers broke down the most liked pages by categories and industries. It isn’t very surprising, but you can see where users’ heads are at.
What does this all mean to you?
Originally, when I intended to create this article, I was planning on only talking about the downfalls of Facebook pages. I constantly read about the negatives of Facebook pages. This started on October 26th, 2012 when billionaire Mark Cuban was complaining about the new way Facebook was handling their pages and the information posted. You can see about it on this post that was screenshotted. Although, before I get into the bad and ugly part of Facebook pages, I would like to educate those on how to handle Facebook pages properly in order to get the most ideal pages. From there, I will explain how the system of posting information to said Facebook page works and one might handle posting in regards to organic posts, viral posts, and sponsored posts as well as what that entails.
Creating a Facebook Page
It is very simple to create a Facebook page. Facebook allows you to categorize your page in-order to help you correctly identify what you plan on promoting to the world. From there, you go through their step-by-step system in order to get everything up-and-running. This is something that you can do yourself, but below is a five step checklist to help make sure your Facebook page has all the necessary details.
- First and foremost, do you have the “about” section filled out along with all your page information? You should. This is imperative as this keeps your key information about your brand. You need to have a short description, a long description, and impressum (if you live in a country where this is required). This doesn’t go to say you shouldn’t fill out anything else, but these are considered equally important. Also, don’t skimp on the links. Include links to any other social media sites as well as the brand’s official site including specific articles that you may want to feature. There is a fine line between spamming links and promoting so have a good judgment to make that call.
- The cover photo is very critical! The first thing that one sees when opening a Facebook page is the cover photo. Unlike viewing profiles which start partially scrolled down, pages start by showing the whole cover photo. Knowing this, you should have a well orchestrated cover photo. Most pages use their cover photo for one of two ways. The first way to is to illustrate the brand in a beautiful way. It is the first sight of what the brand is about. The other way is an advertisement for something regarding their brand. Essentially, the cover photo becomes a billboard advertising a new service, product, or something similar. As an example, a band or artist may advertise their latest single or album. Whatever is chosen for the cover photo, there are certain requirements. The dimensions must be 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. This is what Facebook set and to have the best looking cover photo, it must be to scale. The photo must be accompanied by a well done description along with a link if relevant. Finally, it must abide by the guidelines set by Facebook in order to prevent the page from being abruptly being taken down.
- Alongside the cover photo, a page must have a great profile picture. This is dedicated for, but not limited to a logo or something similar. Without going into brand awareness, have this follow the rules of design by being to scale just like the cover photo. Also, like the cover photo, the profile picture must be accompanied by a well done description along with a link if relevant. Finally, it must abide by the guidelines set by Facebook in order to prevent the page from being abruptly being taken down.
- The old Facebook Page layouts had big tabs that allowed you to customized your page to provide your fans with custom pages. These were used for the standard events, photos, about section, and more. Brands were also allowed to create sections to provide free downloads, coupons, stores, and more. I am not here to tell you which one is better than the rest, but choose the ones that are most prevalent to your brand. Make them and own them to promote the brand.
- Develop a strategy regarding how the brand will go about posting content to the page. This is the step where I will go more in-depth as this is where most people complain about Facebook as first shown by Mark Cuban in the tweet above. Once again, I will get more into this in a bit as there is quite a bit of information to discuss rather than be left in a simple checklist.
For visual purposes, here is the image Facebook provides to understand the dimensions of the cover photo and profile picture that I’ve listed above. 
Enticing Individuals to Like Your Page
The idea of creating a Facebook page is to reach your audience. You want the most amount of likes possible. The more likes you receive, the better! Sadly, not always do you have people searching for your Facebook page and immediately hitting like. I mean, there are those who do that, but not everyone does. The easiest way to gain followers is simple: ask friends and family to like your page. Facebook provides this feature for a reason, so you might as well use it. If you are serious about your brand, you shouldn’t feel any hesitation to do so. Don’t look at it like spam unless you’re making tons of pages. Feel free to ask your friends and family to do the same with their friends and family. Word-of-mouth is the driving force behind social networks and this is the number one way to gain followers. Just ask.
Unfortunately, just asking friends and family doesn’t always work. Sure, you’ll hopefully get quite a solid starting point, but you can’t rely on just them as the driving force of your brand and eventually you’ll need to branch out. You will need people who have not heard of your brand before to start finding you. Unless you are the sole brand in your niche, there must be something that separates you from the others. This is where exclusive content comes into play. Brands need to give something away in order to gain likes. Think of it like a social payment. For example, if you were a electronic dance music producer, you would provide tracks for free in return for a like. You give them something they want and what would normally cost them an average of $0.69 to $2.99 for a simple like. Maybe you’re not an electronic dance music producer, but you can simply give out a plethora of items. Here are some examples:
- Free song
- Free album
- Free eBook
- Free giveaways
- Free coupons
You get the point. There is always something that you can trade off for a like. It is worth giving something up in order to gain future loyalty and possible income. You need to give a little in order to get a little. You’ll be surprised how many likes you get from giving away free stuff for likes. Along with these tactics, I hope you would advertise you Facebook page on your other venues. What many don’t understand is that engagement is a fantastic way for your page to be shared with others. When your fans like, comment, or share something that regards your page, their friends will see their actions on their news feed. This in-turn can have their friends like your page which is fantastic for you. Finally, the last way to gain likes is to simply use Facebook advertising system. When you do a page likes Facebook page advertisement, your page will appear in the news feed as a sponsored page, mobile news feed as a sponsored page, and on the right column. These advertisements start at $5 and go as high as you’d like. Now that you’re advertising, you need to keep your Facebook page up-to-date.
Expressing Yourself Brand Through Posting
Now that you have a fancy Facebook page set up, you need to commence your strategy plan on engaging with your fans. The ideal rule for posting on your page is the 70/20/10 rule. 70% of your posts should be about building your brand. Anything from tips related to your page to news in your niche. These are the posts that help build your brand without shoving it in your fans’ faces. 20% of your posts should be sharing events of related paged or events. It doesn’t have to always be about you in regards to your page. Showing interest in the niche along with other posts works. You see this frequently when pages tease each other or rival sports teams have fun. The last 10% of your posts should be about promotional regards. This is where you post coupons and such. It doesn’t overload anyone and it makes people happy! Check out this infograph by SnapRetail for a more in-depth understanding of the 70/20/10 rule.
Along with following the 70/20/10 rule, there are certain guidelines that you should follow when posting. These aren’t written in stone, but these obviously help. Take these guidelines and use them accordingly. Your page is unique so you may need to change it up, but there is a reason these exist. Check them out and try it out.
- Be consistent. This is a given.
- Feel free to base it off of the times. Facebook provides when posts are considered most popular. Schedule your posts around these times. This isn’t mandatory, but only helpful. Needless to say, they change frequently.
- Use images. What is better? Image, image and text, or just text? Image and text is the best combination as you lead them with the picture and finish them off.
- Keep your text short. There is a reason why people love Twitter. It is short and sweet. They’re not reading a blog, but rather a status. Stick with 150 characters (give or take).
- Be relevant. This should be understood. If you’re about electronic dance music, you wouldn’t talk about carpentry. If you’re about cars, you wouldn’t discuss women’s fashion. At least give a relation to your topics.
- Interaction is a must. Comment. Ask questions. Discuss. Debate.
- Be up-to-date. Your industry is constantly changing. Stay up-to-date.
- Have some value. No one wants to hear what you are eating for breakfast unless your page is about breakfast. Imagine what your fans want to see. Give it to them.
- Entertain. Be funny. Use video. Memes. Make sure you’re doing it right if you do. There is a reason why sports pages go viral because they playfully taunt other teams and fans.
- Stick with the seasons. There are plenty of holidays and honorary holidays. Use these to your advantage along with weather and more. Google does this with their logo. You can do this with a status.
Using all of this, you will have the most optimal statuses to allow you to get fans that not only enjoy you, but want to share you with their friends and family.
Breaking Down the Facebook Status
This is the biggest problem that page owners discuss is that not enough people see their statuses. As shown above, Mark Cuban was one of the first people to criticize Facebook about this and how they charge for a bigger reach PER STATUS. There is quite a bit about this issue that is difficult to understand. It is all about the news feed. The news feed is a complex beast that changes frequently.
Facebook is much different from other social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) including ones they own (Instagram). First off, besides the major differences, other social networks show their posts based on times. If you don’t see the post during that time, you won’t see it at all. There are only two ways to see old posts. For Twitter, if someone retweets it, people see your old post, but only in the people that are viewing the person that retweeted your post’s timeline. With Instagram, the same idea is there with reposting image. The other way is if someone goes out of their way to check your profile. Besides that, it is essentially lost. The idea of “out of sight, out of mind” kicks in and you’ll need to be hopefully caught by enough people. Although, this post isn’t about other social networks. I may put out a post about them sooner or later.
On January 14th, 2014, Derek Muller or better known as V
This algorithm above is easily understood as the sum of Edges with each Edge “e” broken down into three categories: Affinity “u,” Weight “w,” and Time Decay “d.” This may seem difficult, but it is simple and effective. I shall break it down. An Edge e is essentially everything action that takes place on Facebook. This includes, but isn’t limited to status updates, comments, likes, shares, etc. Apps use this. Sites and software use this. Facebook Open Graph has really expanded this for the user, but all you have to predominantly worry about is updates, comments, likes and shares via your page. Affinity u is the relationship the user has with an Edge. This is built upon the actions of the user. If they interact with your page or the Edge, their affinity grows. Weight w is a system that was created by Facebook to determine the value of the Edge. All posts are created equal. Although, their weight rises the more likes and comments they gain. Comments are valued more than likes. Finally, the last factor is Time Decay d. This is how long the Edge has been alive. According to What is EdgeRank, Time Decay is mathematically understood as 1/(Time Since Action). The older the Edge, the less value it holds. This allows you to have fresh, new content rather than old stuff. What is EdgeRank provides a great example of how this works.
Not Everyone Will See Your Statuses
The sad truth is because of Edge Rank, not everyone will see your status. According to Facebook, at any given time, there are 1,500 statuses to be viewed.  One personal accounts, a status is viewed by 35% of the user’s friends.  These are organic reaches. That means there isn’t any promotional boost that Mark Cuban was outraged about. Unlike personal accounts, as of March 2014, the organic reach per fan is 6.51%.  That is down about 10% from two years prior as in February 2012, the reach was 16%.  Here is a graph to visualize the breakdown.
This is pretty bad. Imagine if you had a page with at least 1,000,000 fans. That means that out of those million fans, each post has at least 65,100 people see the post. That’s nothing especially since you’ve worked hard establish a big page. Now if you had a page with 300 fans, you’ll be lucky if 20 people see the post. Unfortunately, different type of pages receive different organic reach. Media and news get the most while local business get the short end of the stick.
It would appear that the more likes you receive, the better. That thought process can be misinterpreted, but fear not, it is very easy to understand. On one hand, the more total likes you receive, the bigger the amount of people view your statuses as the 6.51% grows larger. Although, along with total page likes, the other statistic that a page owner should focus on page engagement percentage. Facebook defines engagement as “the unique number of people who liked, commented, shared or clicked on your posts.” Thus, you take the number that have engaged with your Facebook page and divide it by the total likes to receive the percentage. This allows for your Edge Rank to go up which is good for you!
Starting around August 6th, last year, Facebook edited the Time Decay part of the Edge Rank.  They came up with this idea called “Story Bumping.” What it does is that it takes older statuses and puts them back on top of your news feed. The goal was “organic stories that people did not scroll down far enough to see can reappear near the top of News Feed if the stories are still getting lots of likes and comments.”  The results actually works out in your favor as they released this data from their tests :
- In a recent test with a small number of users, this change resulted in a 5% increase in the number of likes, comments and shares on the organic stories people saw from friends and an 8% increase in likes, comments and shares on the organic stories they saw from Pages
- Previously, people read 57% of the stories in their News Feeds, on average. They did not scroll far enough to see the other 43%. When the unread stories were resurfaced, the fraction of stories read increased to 70%.
Facebook Ads: Yay or Nay?
To initiate engagement, you need to implement the strategies that I mentioned above. The strategies work, but Facebook has been pushing their advertising system. Facebook wants you to advertise your page and sponsor your statuses. Before, I get into how to advertise your Facebook in a successful manner, I’ll briefly go over some of the issues. From there, I will explain why they are right and wrong. Finally, I’ll give some advice on how to run advertisements if you so choose. Although, there is no set formula to a successful advertisement campaign as each page and campaign is different. The tips should help immensely though.
The most popular issue was brought up (once again) by Derek Muller aka V
Thankfully, Facebook has seriously brought down the roof on these link farms, but sadly they still exist and can haunt your pages with emptiness. Professional advertisers laugh at the video above stating that Derek played the system to work like that in his favor. They state that the advertising system is like a dart board. You can narrow the search parameters down so that you only advertise to the specific demographic you’re looking for or you can get anyone. Sadly, anyone brings in the link farms. A user on Reddit named PPC_Henry breaks down why he hates this video as Facebook Ads are apart of his job :
I manage Facebook ads for a living; in February 2014 I will spend over USD$30,000 on Facebook ad clicks, and this thread makes me facepalm.
The video shows an example of what happens when you employ every bad practice in the book, and basically just throw money at a company without telling them where to spend it.
The problem comes when people who know nothing about online marketing and advertising think ‘I could just put $100 into a campaign and get a load of likes and it will be awesome!’ Facebook WILL spend your money on whatever you ask it to. In the OPs example the campaign targeted random geographical locations – locations with a staggeringly large target reach (millions upon millions of people). It is not possible to target this amount of people effectively unless you have a product that is relevant to everybody (think coca cola) and you’re aiming for brand exposure (you don’t care about likes/clicks and just want as many impressions [ad views] as possible.)
So in the OP video, we can see that the guy is telling Facebook:
I want to target ads to billions of people regardless of their interests or location.
I can afford to reach a tiny percentage of these people due to my budget constraints.
The advertiser could choose to focus on getting the maximum amount of ad clicks/likes. They bid on a cost per click level (probably with a tiny bid) and then Facebook shows their ads based on the broad targeting options in auctions where the bids required are very low. This results in a lot of very low quality clicks and likes from pages that nobody else was targeting. Alternatively, the advertiser may have chosen to bid on a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) basis to maximise ad impressions. Facebook would show the ads to as many users as possible for the budget, and again it chooses to show ads in auctions that are very cheap, and very low quality.
Here’s how I would have built the campaign:
- A Facebook like does not return on investment make! Likes come AFTER transactions, when the user likes your page after enjoying your bagels. This is an eCommerce business (I realise it’s fake!) it should be tracking transactions via Google Analytics eCommerce tracking. The advertiser should ensure that Facebook ad URLs are UTM tagged so that each ad click can be tracked through the site. The Facebook campaign should be judged on the revenue it produces.
- The campaign should only target users for whom delivery would be cheap (local customers)
- The campaign should be segmented into targeting groups. For example, followers of competitors’ pages including local bakeries, online food delivery companies, etc.
- Ongoing optimisation of target market, ad copy, landing pages, etc. It’s not enough to just hit ‘Go’ and watch the likes roll in. In fact, you need to be continually testing and adjusting. The advertiser should have been checking that the traffic was producing revenue, identifying which ads performed best/worst and adjusting accordingly.
It’s important to note that the fake users were a percentage of the ad impressions, and that they were more likely to ‘like’ the page because the crooks managing the fake user accounts will ‘like’ ads and pages in order to make the account seem active and legitimate. An easy way to avoid this is to bid for your target market, rather than bidding for ‘everyone everywhere’.
If your targeting is set up correctly, you will reach an audience for whom the ads are relevant. These people will click the ads or like the advertiser because they are genuine potential or existing customers.
If your targeting is not set up correctly you will reach an audience with no connection to your ads. In this case the vast majority if not all of the people clicking ‘like’ will be either fake accounts or accidental clicks.
It’s like fishing in the woods and wondering why you’re only catching Squirrels. If you didn’t want to catch that poor squirrel, why did you try fishing in the woods? Is it the fishing pole manufacturer’s fault?
Good targeting means multiple filters.
IS over 18 AND lives in [insert town name] AND talks about [insert product/service] AND likes [insert competitor]
By segmenting these audiences out into tightly targeted campaigns you ensure that the traffic is always served to the right people.
My point is that the fake accounts issue is only an issue when you’re not targeting your ads properly, and that the strategy employed in the OP video was specifically designed to produce likes from fake accounts. If you are managing your advertising correctly, you will not run into this problem.
While doing research of this video, I found another Facebook marketer who broke down the video even more. Jon Loomer points out the experiment regarding Virtual Bagel on the BBC was from around 2012. He goes into detail that in 2012, these either didn’t exist or weren’t utilized :
- Conversion Tracking
- Custom Audiences
- Lookalike Audiences
- Website Custom Audiences
- Partner Categories
- Facebook’s new ad reports
Loomer goes as far as to state :
If you still use Facebook ads as if it’s 2012, you deserve the results you get…
He goes on to state that targeting poorly will get you poor results. Targeting broadly will also get you the poor results pointed out. He calls the video a cautionary tale for those who takes shortcuts because it requires actual work to get the results you want. It is all trial and error to get the results you want.
The other issue that advertisers have is what Mark Cuban was mad about above in his tweet; specifically lowering the organic reach essentially forcing pages to advertise. He brings up a number of fantastic points. The change in the algorithm as shown above has caused brands to have a major decline in reach as much as 50%.  Facebook claims that this isn’t the case as they changed the Edge Rank to prevent spam pages from
harassing annoying users. They claim that as long as you publish great content, users will engage with the content and the posts can go viral. Facebook’s analytics provider shared this graph to show that the Edge Rank change hasn’t messed with the reach that Cuban claims.
Although, while Mark Cuban doesn’t like promoted posts, his faults in Facebook are a bit more. He isn’t worrying about himself as he and his companies can afford such promotion, but he is looking out for everyone else stating :
Brands have invested in getting consumers to like their Facebook page with the presumption that every like is created equal, that the brand can reach the user easily. That is not the case.
I realize that Facebook has never given 100% user coverage to followers of a brand. However it now appears that to extend beyond minimal reach is going to cost brands more money.
I think this is a reflection of Facebook searching for more revenue since going public and the more it costs to reach followers on Facebook the lower the value to the brand of being on Facebook.
What I agree most with Cuban is the fact that brands do not know about the reach unless they research the information. It isn’t necessarily betraying brands, but not providing them with the full information. With over 50 million pages , how many do you believe actually understand Edge Rank let alone all about the reach. Sure, Facebook does provide help, but it doesn’t specifically point this out. Mark Cuban continued to say :
Facebook has never allowed 100% reach. I think the disconnect is that not everyone realized that they didnt allow 100% reach. I bet if you asked anyone who has subscribers if their posts reached 100% of their subscribers, they would say yes unless they have seen the dollar box for promoted posts show up.
I think the same applies to brands as well. Remember most brands don’t have social media departments. They rely on common sense. If someone likes your brand, it seems like common sense to me that you can expect your posts to reach 100% of those that like your brand. Doesn’t it to you?
And one more point. I get that they want to reduce the speed at which news scrolls off of people’s Facebook pages. The more stuff, the less you see; the less you see, the less you engage. All good points by Facebook.
But it’s a reflection of overall design and strategy weakness. Again, why would a brand invest in getting likes they can’t reach without paying a premium?
The right price is to charge an upfront fee for brands. In the current system there is complete uncertainty on the cost. And even worse, at least for our size brands, you have to deal with the pricing for each posting, which is a time waster.
I’m just suggesting that a single upfront fee or a monthly fee where there is certainty of cost would allow brands to focus on bringing in consumers to like the brands knowing that they can always reach everyone that likes them. I don’t know what that number should be.
And let me add, I’m not trying to come off as some Facebook expert. I’m not. I have a bunch of little companies via Shark Tank and other investments that use Facebook in the normal course of business. They shouldn’t have go to great lengths to figure out the nuances of Facebook audience reach. That complexity, IMHO, will come back to haunt Facebook.
Here are some tips to help you with Facebook ads. Note that everything is trial and error as all pages are different, but this should help quite a bit.
1. Use the graph search to figure out interests. When Facebook added the graph search, it became a very powerful tool. Most people don’t use it to the capabilities that it can do. Run a graph search that looks like this:
Pages liked by people who like [Enter Your Page Name] and [Enter Page Name of Your Biggest Competitor].
This will break down all the pages that your fans like that like you and your biggest competitor. If many like them, many more like them as well. From there, run another similar search:
Favorite Interests of people who like [Enter Your Page Name] and [Enter Page Name of Your Biggest Competitor].
This will break down all the interests that your fans like that like you and your biggest competitor. If many like them, many more like them as well. Write everything down! Don’t use any hashtag results as that brings similar, but not exact results. Include email addresses if you have an email list! It automatically targets those people.
2. Put everything you’ve written down in the saved audience. Include broad demographics that fit your page.
Gender: Both men and women
Countries: Look at your insights of your page, but US, UK, Canada, Australia, etc. are the usual.
3. Create a lookalike audience based off the countries you listed and optimize for similarity.
4. Create sponsored stories that Mark Cuban doesn’t like, but make them for a long time with the same settings above except for the connections: Users who are not already connected to Your Page.
5. Make an ad for free stuff. Lead them to your Facebook page which makes it cheaper and then have a tab for free stuff either going to your site or staying on the tab.
6. Use your insights to adjust and optimize.
Having a Facebook page may seem very difficult after reading this post, but I can assure you that it isn’t. It is quite powerful being that you are open to deliver your content over a billion users. With everything that you do or Facebook does, consequences happen. Like anything in life, you need to adapt to the change in order to provide the best possible outcome for your brand and your fans. There is no guarantee that everyone sees everything. Like any other medium, Facebook does have its strengths and weaknesses. I prefer believing in Mark Cuban’s way of looking at Facebook :
We are not leaving FB, but this has made us change the balance in how we manage our social media portfolio. We have de emphasized getting “likes” and increased our emphasis on engagement on Twitter, WordPress, Tumblr, the New Myspace, Pinterest and others.
My advice is to research plenty before making any drastic measures. Also, do not put all your eggs in one basket when in regards to your brand and Facebook. There are many other venues out there that easily coincide with Facebook pages. By using everything unilaterally, you provide the best way to attract more people to your brand and optimize on their online presence.
Like to Download is No Longer Acceptable
Update August 8th, 2014: I am writing this update for my musical friends, but this can be applied to any page that uses/used this practice. Recently, Facebook announced a major update which seemed to make many upset. According to their latest update , they have changed their policies to shut down all the “like to download” incentives. They stated:
You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.
At first, I was unaware of this, but it was brought up to me by a few of my artist friends. This was big for musical artists as they looked at a Facebook like as a currency for their free music. Unfortunately, this creates a situation where the like given to them isn’t organic. Although, this isn’t the end of the world for artists and there is definitely ways to make your page happen. Here are some suggestions to fix this situation:
- Simply ask for a like before and/or after giving a track. There should be no reason why people are downloading your track and not liking your Facebook page if they aren’t a fan. It is just as easy as social paywall (I’ll be using this to describe the click like to download as it is the same thing).
- I don’t recommend this choice, but I am pretty sure that it shall still work. Use a social paywall via your website rather than on Facebook itself. I don’t know if this is able to be blocked as it looks like a normal Like icon on your site, but it achieves the same thing as a social paywall application on Facebook.
- Every big name artist collects email addresses for music. This is because an email address is more valuable than a Facebook like. As mentioned before, you can use the email address to advertise on Facebook and it works out because a mailing list is the best thing to advertise on the internet!
- Just give your product away free and let that be it. If they like it, they’ll like you on Facebook or another social network to get more. They need a source to get more music from you and they’ll find a way through one of your social networks.
Many might disagree with Facebook. They look at a Facebook like as a currency or a version of fair trade. That was never the intention of a Facebook like and creates an unfair advantage over other pages. A like has to be organic and earned. It can’t be forced by requiring it to download your music. While a majority of individuals are on Facebook, you cut off those who choose not to use the service. Like I listed in the suggestions, individuals will like your account without making it a requirement to listen to your music. When it comes to Facebook, organic or properly paid for is always better. It is more polite to ask for a like and a share when giving away free incentives than to force individuals. Cheating the system, whether you believe it is fair or not isn’t the correct way to earn a following.
Fan Page Reach Tightens Past Point of No Return
Update August 26th, 2014: Months ago when researching all about Facebook, I came up upon an article talking about page reach. Unlike every other that was discussing 6.51%, they said that Facebook’s page reach was in the process of going down to 1% to 2% . I didn’t make too much of it because it was going against everyone else as well as making implications with anonymous sources. The reason that I am discussing it now is because I was looking at my pages and the reach that my posts receive. Math proves that without any engagement, I get about 1% to 2% for each post’s page reach. This is extremely disappointing as Facebook fooled us all. As quoted by Vallywag:
Facebook pulled the best practical joke of the internet age: the company convinced countless celebrities, bands, and “brands” that its service was the best way to reach people with eyeballs and money. Maybe it is! But now that companies have taken the bait, Facebook is holding the whole operation hostage.
Please note that the page reach does increase depending on the engagement. Everything else in this article is still intact. Truly the only way to combat these low numbers is to purchase advertisements and that can get quite expensive.
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